For the most part, bicycles and motorcycles are supposed to be treated just like any other vehicle on the road. However, unlike cars and trucks, bicycles and motorcycles do not provide body protection. Because of this, riders are especially prone to serious injury. Head injuries, or traumatic brain injury (TBI), are one of the greatest risks, which is why helmet use is encouraged. What happens, though, when a rider is injured without a helmet? Is their compensation reduced, or are there laws in Wisconsin that protect them? The following explains.
Helmet Laws in Wisconsin
Every state is responsible for making its own laws on helmet use. Wisconsin does not explicitly state that a helmet must be used while riding (unless the rider is a minor or has a learner’s permit). As such, it is wrongful for an insurance company to try and reduce the compensation of a licensed adult for not wearing a helmet (they are within their rights to do so in the case of minors and those with learner’s permits). That does not mean they will not try to reduce compensation – especially if the rider has sustained a head injury – so victims should be aware of the potential for such complications in their case.
The Truth About Helmet Use
It might seem counterintuitive to have laws that “protect” non-helmet wearing road users, but there is a little-known truth about riding helmets: helmets do not always protect riders from serious or fatal injury. Sometimes, it simply cannot provide adequate protection for the victim. After all, injuries to the head are not the only concern for motorcycle and bicycle riders. Crashes can also result in serious or fatal injuries to the trunk of the body (i.e. organ damage, internal bleeding, etc.). In such situations, the victim may not have survived, even with the use of a helmet.
So, despite the misconception, the helmet law in Wisconsin is not counterintuitive. Instead, it accounts for the fact that injuries may or may not be prevented by a helmet. It also protects victims who may have otherwise lost compensation in an injury claim. Again, insurance companies may try to cut the settlement amount anyway, so victims should always seek legal assistance if they or a family member are injured in a crash without a helmet.
Contact Our Appleton Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle or bicycle accident, contact Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. for assistance. Known for our personalized attention and aggressive approach, our Appleton motorcycle accident lawyers will fight to ensure you and your loved ones receive the compensation to which you are entitled. Schedule a free consultation to get started with your case. Call our offices at 920-739-7366 today.